If my soul was a balloon…

Deepa Gayadin - India


April 14, 2020

If my soul was a balloon, it could have been made by one artist or three, depends on what I'd like to believe.
And like every balloon in the bunch, tied to a string I'll go where I am taken and tied.

If my soul was a balloon I'd wish to have thicker and more flexible skin, to not inflate and deflate unwillingly.
And like every balloon would wish, that I am the prettiest balloon at the party.

If my soul was a balloon I'd be like the black balloon in the white and grey theme party.
And like every balloon would wish, that no one decides to resize me to pieces.

If my soul was a balloon I'd hope to be the reason behind the smile of every kid.
And like every balloon would wish, that I am not forgotten for the sun to liberate.  
12.10.2019
I never finished that piece of writing because, with time, that pain faded into a routine, an everyday life where I stop feeling it. 
In the beginning, I struggled a lot with knowing where I stand in India, a foreigner that is not so foreign or how they would call me: a South Indian in Maharashtra judging by the nuance of my dark skin or was it my hair: I can never be sure.  
Pune being the energetic and yet lazy city that it was made it easier for me to have conversations with strangers. Most of which left me stranded on busy streets waiting to be picked up. The excitement to converse always carried so many judgments that it became too heavy for me to carry on. 
People most probably assumed I was having it easy: knowing the language, kinda accustomed to the culture and therefore frustrated for nothing. 
I remember once there was a fellow who was so happy about how her students complimented her about looking pretty like a Barbie doll (unrealistic surface-level beauty that does not exist as a standard = unparalleled beauty), and instead of explaining why I remember getting mad. I was mad at how blind people were; that was my frustration showing up. I always heard people are so nice to us blah blah blah and it always gets me mad. Some fellows had a hard time too, not everyone was a white Barbie doll.   
There are so many details hidden in the way you carry yourself in that society that people can estimate your age, the number of kids you have, the kind of family you are from, etc just by looking at you.  This did teach me a lot of the society I was living in though I was happier not knowing.  There is a high probability I just happen to not meet nice people and I am not assuming all people in Pune are super judgmental because I did meet some amazing people. This is just one aspect of things, my experience was different in a different manner and I take it as it is now. I guess part of my frustration also stems out from my disappointment. I was expecting people who were with me to care and be more understanding but that required people to see outside what spans in front of them, which honestly requires a lot of conscious effort and an understanding of where one is. 
I guess its always quick to assume things, but with this globalized world, we might want to reconsider our tactics to better know people.
If I had to complete that piece of writing today I would say: 
If my soul was a balloon, is not even a possibility. 
My body came packaged with a soul inside; a balloon is a mere packaging of the soul, just like a body. 
Packaging can tell you sometimes where the package came from or what it contains but you are not always necessarily right, ask the package to reveal its label and if it does not have one to show you then most probably it is not for you to open. 

If my soul was a balloon, I'd wish to be invited to parties where we have all kinds of balloons and balloon artists
And like every balloon would wish, to be shaped into what I want to be. 

Deepa Gayadin